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Kate Bush runs up that hill to number one
Kate Bush gets only the second number one single of her illustrious career with a 37=year-old masterpiece. George Ezra bags his third consecutive number one album.

Kate Bush breaks chart records with her second number one single. George Ezra scores his third chart-topping album.

It is probably fair to assume that most people who listen to the charts or look at the published list somewhere don’t know the details of how it is compiled. It used to be easy; a sale was a sale was a sale. For some time even before the inclusion of downloads, the overwhelming majority of sales counted towards the chart. Improved technology had long ago eliminated the need to take sales data only from a sample of record shops.

The introduction of streaming changed all that. The Official Charts Company (OCC) somehow had to find a way of combining two completely different ways of consuming music. Not surprisingly, the OCC have changed the rules several times in recent years to try and make the charts more interesting as it has become clear that some songs continue to be streamed in large numbers for many months. These changes include the introduction of the Accelerated Chart Ration (ACR) under which some songs’ streams only count for half as much as other songs. As mentioned here in the last couple weeks, all songs over three years old are subject to this rule.

For the most part, the majority of people remained blissfully unaware of these rules and probably most people didn’t really care. Last week, however, some of those people, seeing that Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill was at number one in both the download chart and the streaming chart wondered how it could possibly not be at number one in the combined chart. (It is worth noting that the same thing happened with Despacito but, as it had already been number one for ages, people didn’t seem too bothered). Physical sales and video streams also count towards the chart but audio streams are the dominant component.

When people found out why Running Up That Hill was not number one, some of them were sufficiently miffed to make their displeasure known, including on the OCC’s own website. Whether that public criticism made any difference or not, the OCC announced on Tuesday that the song had been put back on to the standard ratio meaning that it was competing with rival songs on level terms.

All of this means that we now have a new leader in the stakes for the best number one of 2022 - a song that was released as a single 37 years ago. This, as mentioned two weeks ago, is all thanks to the song’s prominent use in Netflix series Stranger Things which has introduced it to a new audience. This is precisely the reason why many people, including this writer, felt that the three-year rule was too much of a blunt instrument. If a song suddenly gains new popularity, surely that should be reflected in the chart.

Running Up That Hill, therefore, becomes Kate Bush’s second number one single, over 44 years after her extraordinary debut single Wuthering Heights became the first. In doing so, the then 19-year-old Bush became the first British female singer to top the chart with a self-penned song, a full quarter-of-a-century after the first UK singles chart. That 44-year gap between successive number ones is a new record. She also (technically) becomes, at 63, the oldest solo female singer to get a number one, beating Cher although Cher retains the record for a new song. The 37 years between the song’s release and its ascent to the top is also a record, beating the 36 years taken by Wham’s Last Chrustmas (assuming you count the original double a-side vinyl release and the download / streaming version as the same).

Cher’s first number one (with then-husband Sonny) came in 1965. Her last (to date) was in 1998, a span of 33 years. Kate Bush now has a span of 44 years and three months beaten only by Elton John and Elvis Presley. Thanks to Colin (zeuss at Buzzjack, orthon at Haven) for the information on spans. Thanks also to my Twitter pal Chig for pointing out that Bush’s two number ones have come 22 years before 2000 and 22 years after. I’m sure that symmetry will appeal to someone who has written a song about pi.

Harry Styles’ As It Was slips to number two after ten weeks at number one. Cat Burns stays at number three with Go. LF System jump nine places to number four with Afraid To Feel. Lizzo is at number five with About Damn Time.

The inexplicable popularity of D-Block Europe continues with Elegant & Gang at number eighteen. Somehow they have managed to accumulate 22 top forty hits without ever demonstrating anything even remotely resembling musical ability. They are joined on their latest monstrosity by French rapper Ghost Killer Track.

Korean boyband BTS released a greatest hits album last week (woopy-doo!). A new track from the album, Yet To Come, enters at number 27. None of their previous top forty singles has climbed any higher than its entry position. If this follows suit, it will represent quite a comedown for the band. Staying in Asia, Japanese singer Joji makes his UK top forty debut at number 31 with Glimpse Of Us. His achievement is being the first artist to have a UK hit with the weird Glimpse in the title is likely to receive less coverage than Kate Bush’s new chart records.

OneRepublic get their first top forty hit for six years with I Ain’t Worried at number 28. The song comes from the new Top Gun sequel. They remain best-known for their massive hit Counting Stars which topped the chart in 2013.

Two weeks ago I wrote “It would not be a surprise if he [Harry Styles] climbed back to the top [of the albums chart] next week before he has to give way to George Ezra the following week.” If I had chosen to nip down to my local bookies to put money on that happening, I would not have suddenly become rich. Both parts of that prediction were pretty safe. Harry Styles did indeed climb back to number one last week and George Ezra’s new album Gold Rush Kid has trounced all opposition to top the chart this week.

Tha man born George Ezra Barnett has now gone to number one with all three of his albums. His debut set Wanted On Voyage spent over three months in the top ten before finally reaching the summit; Staying At Tamara’s went straight to the top. Green Green Grass, the current single from the album hits a new peak of number six this week.

Harry Styles get a double number two; his placing in the singles chart is matched by Harry’s House in the albums chart. Ed Sheeran is at number three with =.

Chase & Status had a string of hit singles in the first half of the 2010s but have been relatively quiet since then. They have managed two top twenty albums in that period but they haven’t had a top forty single since 2013. They can still get a top ten album though; What Came Before is a new entry at number four.

As mentioned above BTS have released a greatest hits set, Proof. While it was never likely to present a serious challenge to George Ezra for the number one spot, they must have been anticipating better than entering at number eight.

The only other new entry in the to forty is another posthumous collection from XXXTentacion. Look At Me:The Album is at number 23.
Published on: 2022-06-17 by Suedehead2 || 883 Views
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Live iTunes Top 10
Not Over Yet (feat. Tom Grennan)
2 Joel Corry & Becky Hill
Afraid To Feel
4 George Ezra
Green Green Grass
5 Olivia Newton-John
Hopelessly Devoted to You
6 Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra
7 Harry Styles
As It Was
8 Calvin Harris, Justin Timberlake, Halsey & Pharrell Williams
Stay With Me
9 Beyoncé
10 OneRepublic
I Ain't Worried

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